|Cork Oak (Quercus suber) in East Park, Southampton|
|Cork Oak (Quercus suber) bark - definitely corky!|
|Leaf of Cork Oak (Quercus suber) - note the small spined lobes.|
|Q. suber leaves with mines (spines/lobes rolled inwards and hence not visible)|
|Mine on Q. suber leaf. The red arrow points to an exit hole. The black arrow points to another hole wihich might be an entrance, or simply an artefact of drying/curling.|
|Mine on Q. suber leaf. The lighting angle has been changed and the main gallery is clearly visible running from right (by the petiole) to left.|
|Q. suber leaf showing little evidence of the mine, unlike the upper surface where it is clearly visible.|
|Backlit Q. suber leaf - the mine is largely full of frass, though the section leading to the exit hole is visible as a short white part of the gallery near the bottom.|
If this is the case, it is an interesting find because, as far as I am aware, although S. suberivora is found on Q. suber in continental Europe (hence the specific name), it has only been recorded from Q. ilex in Britain according to both Ford (1949) and Emmet (1988). Its identity is currently under discussion on iSpot, although to be certain, it may be necessary to revisit the tree to find eggs and/or larvae and raise adults for identification. If confirmed as being S. suberivora on a previously unrecorded host for Britain, I'll post an update here (and undoubtedly write it up more formally for publication!)
Emmet, A.M. (1988). A Field Guide to the Smaller British Lepidoptera (2nd ed.). BENHS, Reading.
Ford, L.T. (1949). A Guide to the Smaller British Lepidoptera. SLENHS, London.
Heath, J. (ed.) (1976). The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Volume 1: Micropterigidae - Heliozelidae. Blackwell, Oxford / Curwen, London.